Robert Preston Taylor was born in Henderson, Texas in 1909. He received a bachelor of arts degree from Baylor University, Waco, Texas, in 1933; a master of theology degree from Southwestern Baptist Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas, in 1936; a doctor of theology degree from Southwestern Baptist Seminary in 1939; an honorary doctor of laws degree from Atlanta Law School, Atlanta, Ga., June 1, 1961; an honorary doctor of divinity degree from Tarkio College, Tarkio, Mo., April 15, 1963; an honorary doctor of divinity degree from Baylor University, Waco, Texas, May 24, 1963; and an honorary doctor of humanities, College, of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery, College Clinic, College Hospital, Des Moines, Iowa, June 4, 1965.
Prior to entering military service in September 1940, Taylor served as pastor of the South Fort Worth Baptist Church. First Lieutenant Taylor's first military assignment was as post chaplain, Barksdale Field, Louisiana.
He became the regimental chaplain of the 31st Infantry Regiment, Philippine Division arriving in Manila in May 1941.With the declaration of war and invasion by the Japanese, the Philippine Division was transferred to the front lines on the Peninsula of Bataan. Chaplain Taylor was cited for bravery and awarded the Silver Star for gallantry in action for his services in the Battle of Bataan.
At the surrender of the American forces there, he became a member of that part of the "Death March" which led from Bataan through the streets of Manila, to the prison camp approximately eight miles east of Cabanatuan. He served as chaplain in the prison camp hospital at Cabanatuan where he ministered to more than 10,000 patients. In the summer of 1944, he spent fourteen weeks in solitary confinement for smuggling food and medicine to the patients. He was later taken to Japan and Manchuria on one of the infamous "hellships" which was bombed twice by American planes with a loss of more than a thousand lives.
Assignments & Promotions
1946. Deputy staff chaplain, Headquarters Army Air Forces Training Command at Barksdale Field, La..
Wing chaplain, Mather Air Force Base, California.
Deputy staff chaplain, Air Material Command, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.
Chaplain for Civil Air Patrol Headquarters, Washington, D.C..
Staff chaplain of the Air University, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama.
1957. Chief of the Personnel Division, Office, Chief of Air Force Chaplains.
1958. Appointed to the grade of brigadier general. Deputy chief of Air Force chaplains, Headquarters U.S. Air Force.
He was nominated as chief of chaplains, U.S. Air Force Aug. 16, 1962 in his then grade of brigadier general. Chaplain Taylor took over his duties as chief of chaplains on Sept. 1, 1962 and was promoted to the grade of major general Oct. 1, 1962.
His decorations and awards include the Silver Star, Bronze Star and the Presidential Unit Citation with two oak leaf clusters.
#Leadership #Duty #Dedication
First Lieutenant (Chaplain) Robert Preston Taylor, United States Army, was awarded the Silver Star for gallantry in action while serving as Regimental Chaplain of the 31st Infantry Regiment, Philippine Division, in action against the enemy on the Bataan Peninsula in 1942. His gallant actions and dedicated devotion to duty, without regard for his own life, were in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army Air Forces.
First Lieutenant (Chaplain) Robert Preston Taylor, United States Army, was captured by Japanese forces after the fall of Bataan in 1942, and was held as a Prisoner of War until his return to U.S. Military Control in 1945.
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